Klovićevi Dvori, Zagreb

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One of my favourite exhibitions that I visited last year is the retrospective of Vasko Lipovac. The giant of Croatian art, beloved by the art critics and the public makes you laugh almost instantly. The warm and joyous feeling you get from his art translates into your whole day, like taking an injection against the grey mundane world outside the walls of the gallery.

Two floors of the gallery exhibit so many sculptures and paintings from all periods of his life.

I encourage you to visit this beautiful exhibition if you find yourself in Zagreb before February 25.

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Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin

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Current exhibition is a retrospective of works by the Turkish-born artist Fahrelnissa Zeid. It was organized in cooperation with Tate Modern and it encompasses works and documents spanning 8 decades.

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After World War I, Zeid became one of the first women in Turkey to study fine art. She came into contact with European avantgarde movements while studying in Paris.

She used her painting as a form of self-discovery and therapy.

Later on she moved away from abstract painting and focused more on portraits of her family and close friends. These portraits and self-portraits have a distinct quality coming from female observation.

The exhibition is open until March 25 so do go if you find yourself somewhere nearby Unter den Linden. The entrance is free on Mondays.

Serpentine Gallery, London

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My tour of London’s cultural institutions ends with a look back at the sweetest exhibition. It was funny and masterful in the way it makes you think.

You instantly feel drawn to the artwork no matter what medium it is based in.

My favourite piece was the depiction of Grayson and his wife.

 

 

The National Gallery, London

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I have seen Trafalgar Square during many different hours of day and night, but in all my time spent in London I have never visited the National Gallery until 2017.

It almost felt like a ceremony. It was my first morning in London. I got up quite early and walked all the way to the Gallery before opening time, waiting among the first people in line for the museum.

After picking up the map from the info counter (you cannot go around London museums without a map), I decided to tackle the museum by exploring the new wing of the Gallery first.

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The Sainsbury Wing holds the artwork from 1200 to 1500, and one of the masterpieces shown behind glass is this painting by Leonardo:

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It is easy to lose yourself when going from room to room, but each room is prettier than the previous one, if you find yourself in the old gallery building.

One of the free exhibitions that I was incredibly lucky to see was Rubens & Rembrandt. I always thought Rembrandt and I had a special bond having been born on the same day. I was charmed by all of their paintings, particularly by this lovely portrait of a young lady by Rubens:

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Here are some of the other works from the exhibition:

Another fabulous exhibition was a complete surprise to me, as it was the modern British artist Chris Ofili with a show called Weaving Magic. What I can say is that it was truly magical and unexpected for me.

You walk into a big room where grey wallpaper with African elements is covering the whole space and at the other end you see this splash of colour on a triptych. Only when you are very close to the watercolour painting, your eyes start adjusting and your brain makes the connection that it is not a painting, but a weaved masterpiece.

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In the little room at the other end of the exhibition space you can watch a video of the making of this tapestry. It is a workshop from Edinburgh that produced the piece. The artistry behind it was showcased in depth and going back to admire the tapestry you start to appreciate it even more because of what you’ve just watched.

The painting below depicts how the National Gallery looked like when it was opened.

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Other popular artworks include paintings by Degas, Monet, Manet, and Turner, just to name a few.

Do not miss this museum if you find yourself in London.

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Victoria Revealed, Kensington Palace, London

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Besides the exhibition about Princess Diana, Kensington Palace was hosting another exhibition about one of its famous residents – Queen Victoria.

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The display follows her life from becoming a queen to falling in love with Albert, to her family life and children, her duty and Albert’s death.

The details in the exhibition are very well chosen and tell the story of her life through some quite intimate objects. One of my favourite pieces was a painting she had made for Albert’s eyes only, her only portrait in which she is not shown with her regalia, but with her long locks and a dreamy look in her eyes.

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Dresses from the most important occasions are displayed in glass cases, such as her coronation outfit and hew wedding dress. She was the one who started the trend of white wedding dresses so you could say she was a major trendsetter of her time.

The jewellery that she received from Albert was mostly with his face on it. Makes him seem like a jealous guy. Another cool artifact on display was the piano that they played and over which they kind of fell in love.

The room dedicated to her family life exhibits her beautiful doll house with which even her children played.

The end of the exhibition is a multimedia experience of Victoria’s great loss.

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Some of the other incredible details at the exhibition included Victoria’s stockings with the stitching of the crown on them:

Albert’s grooming set:

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and his full outfit:

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In case you’re in London this week, you can still visit the exhibition until Sunday.

Since we are following Queen Victoria on our tv screens and cinema screens in different periods of her life, especially this year, it is nice to see the reality behind it. At least some aspects of her character.

Tate Modern, London

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It’s been 7 years since I visited Tate Modern for the first time. In that time span they built an extension to the Boiler House called Blavatnik Building. The complex is as stunning as the first time I visited the Boiler House. The Turbine Hall still feels overwhelming and welcoming at the same time.

I think it is one of the most incredible museum buildings I’ve ever visited. You feel you could spend your life in there never getting bored because there are just so many things to see and do.

Getting around is almost impossible without the map guide, unless you wish to feel lost the entire time. Without enough time to explore everything on offer, I decided to skip exhibitions and focus on the permanent collection.

The permanent collection includes artwork from 1900 to now, from paintings and sculpture to performance pieces, like the incredible experiment from Marina Abramović called Rhythm 0. You can see 72 different objects on a long table and the photos of the performance when people use these objects on the artist. It is known as very violent piece that showcases human psyche and it was quite disturbing to see it, even though the most gruesome parts have been taken out.

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Another piece that was astonishing was a tower of radios. It was rather creepy listening to many different radio signals, but maybe I watch too many weird tv shows.

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I highly recommend you also visit the cafe on level 6 of the Boiler House where you can enjoy the views of the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Design Museum, London

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On my extensive museum tour of London I also managed to visit the new building of the Design Museum. It used to be located in a relatively small building by the Thames, and now it has a much more representative space to go wild with the exhibition displays.

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The former Commonwealth Institute building has a spacious interior and exhibitions spread out on all levels. The permanent collection is situated on the top floor and it shows many design aspects, and the whole display ends with a working 3D printer.

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The main theme of the permanent collection is the connection between the designer, the maker and the user. You can also see ‘how it’s made’ videos of certain objects, and the process of making tennis balls was particularly mesmerising for me.

Tate Britain, London

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This was my first time visiting Tate Britain and after seeing the collection and the exhibitions it immediately became one of my favourite London museums.

The day I visited was quite rainy, it was drizzling the whole day, which gave me an excuse of exploring the whole building for about 6 hours.

As soon as you walk in, you notice a striking design of the “foyer”.

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It is rather difficult to try and summarise the whole experience in just a few sentences. I found myself surprised at almost every step, as every room was unexpected and the art varied from classic to contemporary.

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Henry Moore Room

What is beautiful about Tate Britain, apart from everything, is the dedication to preserving British art. We often visit museums with international art collections, but celebrating one’s own puts a focus on artists that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

I was quite taken with some of the striking architectural elements of the exhibition spaces, particularly the ceilings.

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One of the most beautiful and most famous paintings at the museum is Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais. Of course all of the gift shop items have the flower print from the painting, but there is something to be said about the artwork. Seeing it in person is breathtaking. The light in the painting is so delicate on Ophelia’s face, the colour of the flowers is so beautiful and rich that it touches your heart. For me it was the most emotional piece in the permanent collection.

Besides this painting, the coolest piece exhibited was the latest commission by the museum, and it’s a wow factor. It’s an installation by Cerith Wyn Evans called Forms in Space… by Light (in Time).

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Another good reason for visiting Tate Britain would be the Turner Collection, which is the biggest collection of Turner’s work in the world. Seeing the film Mr. Turner was actually my only preparation for this trip. I recommend viewing the film as it gives you a better understanding of the ideas behind his way of painting and experiencing the world.

 

As the last part of my post, I present you the exhibition Queer British Art 1861-1967. It was my main reason for visiting the museum in the first place. The exhibition explored the period between the abolishment of death penalty for sodomy and partial decriminalisation of sex between men. The display evoked various emotions, from sadness to anger, and it was beautifully curated.

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Here are some of the other pieces from the museum:

Royal Academy of Arts, London

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Luckily I managed to visit this two-month long exhibition that included over 1200 artworks, most of which were for sale. Some of the prices were very spicy.

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It was fun walking around the gallery space with the booklet of every artwork and their price. One of the most expensive artworks for sale cost over  £285 000.

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It was really wonderful to see so much contemporary art and to be moved by it.

Here is a selection of some of my favourite pieces from the exhibition:

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, V&A London

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Victoria & Albert Museum is currently exhibiting the incredible artistic legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga. There are more than 100 pieces on display that showcase the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century.

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The exhibition is actually the 100th anniversary celebration of the opening of Balenciaga’s fashion house in Spain. Among the stunning dresses and jackets, you can also see shoes and hats.

This exhibition was my main reason for visiting London, which says a lot about my love for the fashion of Balenciaga. There is such poetry in his designs, complex technical construction that looks so simple to make, but only at a first glance.

So many of his designs feel fresh and modern even today, and that is why he has been such a long-lasting influence in fashion.

He was one of the few designers who designed everything himself, and going behind the genius of his construction and idea is very inspirational. The exhibition has x-rays of dress constructions, videos of runway shows, beading, and sewing patterns.

My favourite exhibition pieces were the dresses which were spinning inside the glass boxes, where you could get a sense of how dramatic and sculptural his designs were.

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The second part of the exhibition are designs of modern designers that have been inspired by Balenciaga. It is a lovely exhibition space with some of the craziest fashion designs I’ve seen in a long time.

 

The exhibition is open until February 18, 2018 and definitely have a look if you find yourself in London. You will be inspired!